Video: Michael Pollan explains how cooking is central to our identity as humans

“Above is Michael Pollan’s Google Talk, wherein the Bay Area author discusses the thesis of his new book “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” — namely, the the value of cooking and the special place that the cook occupies, squarely between nature and culture,” according to

“The whole thing is worth a listen, but here’s one snippet of the hour-long talk, from the 13:40 clip:
‘If you think about our lives, there’s plenty of stuff we’ve outsourced to corporations. We don’t change the oil in our car, right? We don’t work on our car anymore. We can’t; we can’t figure them out. We don’t sew our own clothing or darn socks. There are many things we’ve let go, we’ve outsourced — and we have not looked back, no problem.

“So why is cooking different? I think it’s a real clue to us that cooking has a certain importance. An emotional importance and I would argue, even genetic importance to our species. I want to try to convince you that cooking is central to our identity as humans, that to do it is an agricultural act … it is a political act and it is a therapeutic act. How I came to this was to by learning how to do it.”

–S.F. Gate

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